A new study shows that women at high risk of violent crime are supportive of a program where they can opt to have their DNA collected for post-mortem identification, but also reveals their concern over police access to their information.
A team of researchers including Science & Society’s Sara H. Katsanis, MS, have published their findings in the International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences.
DNA can be collected from women at high risk of violent crime as a pre-emptive biometric for post-mortem identification. We conducted focus groups with women in a prostitution diversion program that offers preemptive DNA collection. In general, the women supported the program but voiced concern for law enforcement collecting DNA. These data provide insights into the challenges of collecting DNA from women whom law enforcement might consider alternately to be victims or vilified. Hearing the voices of these women provides the forensic community an opportunity to design programs to minimize harm and maximize utility of DNA for victim identification.